The Bending Water project is part of the Collections as Data grant that the Claremont Colleges Library received in January of 2020. A team of faculty and library staff works with the digitized California Water Documents, developing accessibility and usefulness of the “data-rich” materials in the collection to scholars. 

The Collections as Data initiative is a Mellon-funded regrant project intended to create models for use of cultural materials in ways that support computational forms of analysis as well as the centering of histories of marginalized groups. 

The Bending Water project team is currently assessing the collection and examining metadata to identify materials with dataset information and making reaching out to institutions and organizations with a focus on water or Indigenous history in the US that may be interested in collaborations.

The materials had been digitized by the library’s Special Collections division with the support of a CLIR Hidden Collections grant in 2017-2019. The California Water Documents collection can be found in the Claremont Colleges Digital Library or the Western Water Archives.